By Kyle Getz
I know it’s 2016. I know I’m supposed to embrace my gayness now that law, the non-terrible Americans, and even my parents have. I know I’m supposed to love it. Become this self-actualized version of myself thirteen minutes after my therapist explains what that means. But I don’t. I hate it. I hate being gay.
I should back up. I’m gay. And not just a little bit, dip it in the crack gay. I’m all-the-way, tell-you-to-thrust-it-deep-inside-me-until-you-find-my-he-spot gay. Okay. You’re all caught up now. Yes, I have to come out with intention; some people don’t know until I proclaim it. Sometimes, I walk down the street without bells on (the audacity!). I wear boot-cut jeans and a t-shirt that does not hug me tight enough to show my nipples, and I can pass without turning a queer eye. I promise, I’m not intentionally trying to fool anyone. I’m also wearing pink underwear and listening to the lesser known Kesha songs and checking out the shirtless guys jogging by me, but those facts are hidden by my baggy jeans and headphones and stoic expression, respectively. And that’s the problem: I’m terrible at being gay.
I don’t know what it is that throws people off. Maybe it’s how broad my shoulders are. Maybe it’s how white I am. Maybe it’s that I don’t skimp on steak or emotional withholding. Maybe it’s how solidly mediocre I dress. Or the way my apartment looks. I can’t interior decorate for shit. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t slept with Mark from marketing, and everyone who hums a Barbara Streisand tune has slept with Mark from marketing. (Mark from marketing is a gay whore.) Maybe it’s that I’ve never attempted a “YAS QUEEN,” because I’m not completely sure if that phrase is offensive to gay people or straight people or England.
Some people say I’m obviously gay. Maybe it’s these big long eyelashes, or the tone of my voice. According to my straight best friend, “there is definitely something gay about it.” Maybe it's my lips, which have been described as dick-sucking lips by a guy I didn't know well enough to say that to me. To his credit, I sucked his dick after that. Maybe it’s the fact that my eyes glaze over when anyone brings up sports or cars or beer. Let me be clear: beer is the worst. I’ve tried plenty of beers, and I’ve also tried letting a guy pee in my mouth, and they taste about the same. Maybe it’s that I’ve never attempted a “SUP, BRAH?,” because I’m not completely sure if that phrase is offensive to gay people or straight people or bros.
Being gay is strange because, unlike other minorities, I get to pick when I want to be a minority. If I don’t want to come out to someone, I can chose to act a little straighter by using words like carburetor, dead lift, and Megan Fox, or doling out high fives left and right and left again. Then pound it, and explode. Straight guys are weird, because pounding it and then exploding sounds pretty gay to me. The extent of my P.D.G. (Public Display of Gayness) is something I can turn on and off, unlike my unintentional sexual attraction to Hillary Clinton. Being able to hide is a blessing and a curse. It can keep me safe at times, but I have to come to every new person I meet and worry about how they’ll react. Instead of coming out, sometimes I just talk about Beyoncé ("Did you see the Formation tour?" "I'm all about that Lemonade." "Fuck Jay-Z."), and people usually get it.
There’s a part of me wants to shout it from the hilltop like that bitch from Sound of Music.* It makes me less threatening. When women know, they exhale a little bit and don’t worry so much if their back isn’t arched right. They dance with me on the dance floor without reservation, just two Pez dispensers, rowing into the night. When they find out, some women like me better, which feels nice unless you think about it. They say “OMG, you should totally meet my friend Brian, you would love him.” “Oh, why’s that?” I ask. “Well he’s gay, too.” “You think just because we’re both gay we’re going to have the exact same-“ but then I remember that he’s the hot one, so I shut up and just go with it and hate myself a little bit until I see his dimples and biceps. I’ll take a heaping spoonful of stereotyping if it comes with a side beef.
Men are different. When they find out, some are relieved. I assume it’s because they didn’t quite know how to place me before, and now they can stick me in the gay category. For some of them, they’ve never had a gay friend, so I check off an interesting new box in their game of diversity bingo. (Although, if you’re in Seattle, like me, knowing a gay white boy should be the free square in the middle. Same goes for Austin, San Francisco and every cycling class ever.) When they find out, some men take a step back. Straight guys are always the ones that never suspected me. I throw off their sense of security. I make them question what being a man is. "But he’s so tall." "But he could get the ladies, if he wanted." "But he’s even good at throwing a football with a spiral 20 yards down the field. And instead, he’s checking out the wide receiver’s ass.” (Yes, I’m skipping a joke about wide receiver. That, my friends, is called personal progress.)
Mostly, I hate being gay because it has to be my thing. I’m a lot of things. I’m introverted. I’m a marketer (but I still didn’t sleep with Mark). I’m a Texan. Yes, I’m allowed to be a Texan, even though I hate beer and football and boobs. I watch a lot of Netflix. I’m single. Oh wait, that should be the other way around: I’m single, so I watch a lot of Netflix. I’m a dog owner. I'm a liar; no one has ever peed in my mouth. I’m a writer. And I’m gay. So why am I always just gay? I’m so much more. And sometimes, I’m so much less. Now, can we move on?
*I realize that this reference is a perfect example of the confusion I cause. I did mention Sound of Music (gay!), but then again I didn’t know who “that bitch” was until I wrote this and looked it up later - it’s Julie Andrews. But I also used the phrase “that bitch,” even though I don’t completely understand why it’s okay for me to call everyone “bitch” just because I sleep with dudes.